By Colum Kenny
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Extra resources for An Irish-American Odyssey: The Remarkable Rise of the O'Shaughnessy Brothers
The following year they opened a parochial school for boys in a two-room frame building. It was said later that Thomas O’Shaughnessy at the age of about fifteen made here for a local chapel his first stained glass window. If so, it was the beginning of a creative process that would reach its peak at Old St. Pat’s Church in Chicago decades later. By 1880 his brother James, aged fifteen, had left school and was working as a “clerk in store” in Moberly, perhaps in the shoe shop run by his father. James later wrote that he began his career writing advertisements for his father’s retail shoe store in a small town in Missouri.
19 Many American journalists were, at the outset, enthusiastic supporters of the war. A number not only filed reports, they actually participated in engagements. In some cases their exploits make those of today’s “embedded” journalists seem positively detached by comparison. “Then everybody sailed away as if on a crusade,” wrote the newspaper proprietor William Randolph Hearst. 20 Most knew little about military affairs. Yet one of the most highly regarded, Richard Harding Davis, even led a charge and won the praise of Colonel Theodore Roosevelt.
One involved him and a basket of mended socks and candied jellies “and other delicacies that home-sick boys like” that was sent by his mother but opened by some callous fellow residents. They pinned all of the articles to the banisters of the stairs along with little notes that his mother had sent about them. More humiliating than this for a young man was what ostensibly happened to James O’Shaughnessy. His “heart overflowed with sentiment” according to Johnson, and he developed a secret love for the schoolteacher.